Human-Centered Engineering & Design

The Human-Centered Engineering & Design (HCED) department at Fraunhofer FIT focuses on the development and design of interactive products and services - always placing people at the center. We also apply our know-how in organizational measures and business processes to relevant stakeholders within the companies who work with us.  


In addition to usability, our quality standards also aim for a positive user experience. We approach all application contexts holistically as well as carefully consider the activities of the involved actors and the associated technical and social framework conditions.

In the context of digital transformation projects - especially those in the service of sustainability - we place particular focus on meeting individual user needs and integrating these into the project goals to achieve increased efficiency and conserve resources. 

Our department has four main focuses which complement one another in the majority of our projects. In addition to supporting both medium-sized and large companies directly in their individual project plans, we also contribute to research projects on a national and European level with our partners from industry and research.

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Further Information on Research and Projects

Learn more about our individual research projects, related publications and participating researchers here.


Services and Offers for Business Partners

Are you looking for an experienced partner in digital transformation and innovation? Find out more about our individual services for businesses here.

Our Focuses

Usability & User Experience (UX) Design

For many years the Usability & UX group has strongly anchored itself in the national community and ensured the usability and interactive nature of its end products and services. The service portfolio includes, next to the evaluation and optimization of products and services, scientific research specific to user needs and stakeholder requirements. Using this as a foundation, prototypical solutions can be developed. 

With regard to usability engineering and change management, the assessment of existing product development processes helps to support companies in developing products with good usability and positive user experience (UX). Additionally, the certification course, »Fraunhofer Usability Engineer«, has been an integral part of the further education programs at FIT for more than 10 years, with over 800 graduates having completed the program and earned their certifications. 

Click here for further information on our services in the field of usability and user experience.

Innovation Engineering

The group, User-Centered Design, blends the department's core methods for promoting creativity and user-centered processes. Based on the design thinking approach, this group offers methodological support to projects through the various phases for innovative application design: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and evaluate. Most often, the goal is either to create innovations for existing products and processes or advance into new domains. Iteratively and incrementally, our prototypes go through several stages of maturity and are developed in continuous communication with all stakeholders. In this way, the target group can provide support in early decision-making and be involved throughout the entire design process.  

Find out more about user-centered design at Fraunhofer FIT here.


IoT Prototyping

This group brings application and interaction concepts in real system environments to life with the help of technical Internet-of-Things (IoT) prototypes. The available know-how seamlessly complements the work of the other groups in our department by demonstrating the technical feasibility of the mentioned innovative approaches.

Sustainable Digital Transformation

Digitalization is affecting more and more areas of industry as well as private life. Simply replacing existing solutions and processes is not enough. Instead, using digital technologies to leverage existing potential can enable more efficient procedures and the saving of resources. Digital transformation in the context of sustainability does not come about by chance and is in itself required to be efficient and resource-saving. 

The focus of this group is to support companies in identifying the technical innovation potential in their structures and processes and activating it with suitable solutions. Achieving this in a sustainable manner - e.g. through intelligent processes or support for targeted eco-balancing is the goal. Our experts analyze and develop suitable innovative solutions together with companies. These solutions are introduced and adjusted as needed in a transparent and comprehensible way for all stakeholders.

A look into our current activities



Digital voice assistants have found their way into many households as useful everyday helpers. As practical and useful as they are, they lack an important focus on protecting privacy. These devices collect enormous amounts of data and increase the security risk of data misuse by third parties. We are working with partners to develop an online platform to support consumers in exercising their GDPR rights. 



In the Horizon 2020 project iPRODUCE, we are developing an innovative social production platform. It will enable interaction and collaboration between makers, consumers, and small and medium enterprises in production as well as create space for user-driven, open innovation and co-creation.




The most important question in terms of digitalization in industry is: »How can companies benefit from the opportunities of digitalization an increase their success as a result?« GRANITE provides answers to this question by examining the current challenges and concerns of companies in Japan and Germany, as well as promoting an active dialog between companies, research institutes and local administrations in Japan and Germany.

All current projects

A look into our past activities


More security at open air events

Outdoor events are gaining popularity. At the same time, the organizational requirements are growing – especially questions concerning safety, noise protection and the guiding of visitor flow. In the research project MONICA we have dedicated ourselves to these potential issues open air events.

Feel free to contact us if you need support in planning your event!


Rewarding sustainable behavior

In the EU project GOEASY we developed a new generation of location based services and applications. With these mobile apps we want to encourage and reward sustainable behavior and a healthy way of life.

Have we got your interest? Click here for more information!


Smart Glasses in the Sterile Services department

Increasing requirements for cleaning surgical instruments demand innovative solutions. With SmartZSVA we developed interaction concepts for smart glasses to provide optimum support for hospital staff. By including Augmented Reality, we were able to virtually integrate the most important information in the real space.

We are happy to answer your questions concerning the use of AR healthcare!

All successfully completed projects